"I just can't explain how much fun I have," Fernandez said.
The Savannah Sand Gnats probably didn't have quite as much fun facing him on the mound, however. Fernandez held them two just two hits over six innings Thursday in the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers' 2-0 shutout.
"It was pretty good," Fernandez said. "I was throwing strikes, getting outs, sticking to the gameplan that I talked about with our pitching coach [Blake McGinley] and catcher [Wilfredo Gimenez] before the game. I was pitching very good today."
Fernandez (6-0), ranked as the Marlins' No. 3 prospect, struck out eight while walking two. As seems to be routine for the 19-year-old right-hander, he said he could throw all his pitches for strikes -- four-seamer, two-seamer, curveball, slider and changeup.
So when was the last time he didn't have all of his offerings working?
"I don't remember," Fernandez said.
The native of Cuba allowed only one baserunner past first base, as T.J. Rivera hit a one-out double in the sixth. The Sand Gnats shortstop made it to third on a throwing error by his counterpart, Grasshoppers shortstop Terrence Dayleg, but was stranded there when Fernandez struck out Travis Taijeron to end his day.
Reliever James Nygren finished off the shutout, allowing two more hits over three innings to notch his ninth save of the season.
The outing continues an impressive rookie season for Fernandez, who leads the South Atlantic League with a 1.50 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 78 strikeouts in 60 innings. The 14th overall pick in 2011 has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his 11 starts, which included a combined no-hitter.
"I just go out there thinking every hitter is the best in the league or the best in baseball," Fernandez said. "I'm here to work hard. I always think it's the best hitter, so I've got to get them out. I feel pretty good, pretty comfortable. It's not been hard for me."
Though he is confident, Fernandez does not take his success -- or the fact that he plays baseball for a living -- for granted. After experiences in Cuba that included getting thrown in jail and placed under house arrest, it's easy to understand his attitude.
"I love baseball," he said. "It's fun, it's amazing. Being on the field every day, it's what I love to do. It's what I came to this country for. It feels easy. Pitching is what I love to do, I work hard for it."